Taroudant (also spelled Taroudannt) is sometimes called ‘Little Marrakesh’, but that description doesn’t do the Souss Valley trading centre justice. Hidden by magnificent red-mud walls, and with the snowcapped peaks of the High Atlas beckoning beyond, Taroudant’s souqs and squares have a healthy sprinkling of Maghrebi mystique. Yet it is also a practical place, a market town where Berbers trade the produce of the rich and fertile Oued Souss plain.
There aren’t any must-see sights. Instead, the medina is a place to stroll and linger. The two souqs are well worth a browse, more laid-back than Marrakesh, but with an atmosphere of activity that is missing in Agadir. With the little-explored western High Atlas, the Anti Atlas and the coast all nearby, the town makes a good base for trekking and activities. Just 65km inland from Al Massira Airport, it is a more atmospheric staging post to/from the airport than Agadir.
(Berber languages: Tarudant, ⵜⴰⵔⵓⴷⴰⵏⵜ; Arabic: تارودانت) is a city in the Sous Valley in southern Morocco. It is situated east of Agadir on the road to Ouarzazate and the Sahara desert and south of Marrakesh. The town is known as the “Grandmother of Marrakesh” because it looks like a smaller Marrakesh with its surrounding ramparts. In the sixteenth century, the Saadi dynasty briefly used Taroudant as a capital before it moved its royal seat onwards to Marrakesh. Today, the city has the feel of a small fortified market town on a caravan route.
Taroudant is known for its local crafts, including jewellery and carpets.
Unlike Marrakesh, almost the entire city of Taroudant is located inside its walls. A new part of the city is being developed outside the city walls around the campus of a faculty of the Ibn Zohr University of Agadir.
The town was occupied by the Almoravids in 1056.
A sad event was the massacre of its population by Moulay Ismail in 1687. Under the Alaouites the town resisted royal control. Citizens formed an alliance with Ahmed ibn Mahrez, a dissident nephew of Moulay Ismail.
Today the town is a notable market town and has a souk near each of its two main squares, Assarag and Talmoklate. There is also a weekly souk outside the city walls, near the future university district.
The town walls are nearly 6 kilometres long and are set with bastions and punctuated by nine gates that are still in use.Outside the wall is a small tannery mainly in the business of travel equipment for camel riding, such as goat skin, camel hide sandals, leather bags and belts.
The Berber market, called Jnane al-Jaami, sells spices and dried fruits but mostly clothes and household goods. The Arab souk, however, specializes in handicrafts such as terracotta, wrought iron, pottery, brass and copper, leather and carpets, rugs and jewellery.